Disney fans, brace yourselves. It looks like a few new lyrics from writer Howard Ashman will debut in the live-action Beauty and the Beast film starring Emma Watson. In an exclusive report, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed the project has uncovered work from the late lyricist which never made it into the original animated film.
Composer Alan Menken, who worked on 1991's Beauty in the Beast, told the site the lyrics would be found in "Gaston."
"In 'Gaston,' we had a treasure trove of lyrics that Howard had written that we did not put in the movie," Menken explained. "In many cases they were a little bit risqué — not risqué sexually, but risqué in terms of sensibility. We all felt ready to have these lyrics. When Bill found out about those lyrics, he said, 'Oh my god, can we please look at that, because it would be a wonderful way to add an extra freshness to the movie.' So, yes, you're going to hear some unheard Howard Ashman lyrics."
In the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, the rugged villain will be played by Luke Evans. The actor commented on Ashman's unheard lyrics as well and described them as "gems."
"The guys at Disney reviewed all the transcripts and recordings and they've been able to go back through those hours and hours of recorded footage and listen to lyrics that were written and never used, which are actually gems," Evans said. "So, for the [audience members] who know the songs immensely well, which I think is most people, you will hear a few new lines, which are really, really special."
"Gaston" won't be the only song that sounds a little different from its original counterpart. According to director Bill Condon, another track will feature some altered lyrics - but they are keeping its identity on the down low.
"It's a surprise at the end," he hinted. "I don't want to give that away, but it's a really gorgeous lyric that we found."
Earlier this year, fans learned more about Gaston's impending appearance in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Evans told CinemaBlend he was excited to take on the role because it had a theatricality which he normally doesn't get to do.
"It was really fun to play this character, because it's such a great arc, such a great like arc. He starts as a kind of lovable rogue - says all these self-absorbed egocentric phrases and has his crazy sidekick. And then once he starts to realize he's not going to get his own way, the facade starts to crack, and there's a monster appears, and he ends up being quite the villain," he said.
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Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast's hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle's eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston's long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Beauty and the Beast will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.